the dark place

I woke up last night from a dream where I was lying in bed and couldn’t breathe. There was nothing I could do or say…I just lay there silently choking to death. Sometimes things come along that can’t be shrugged off. And when they do, they trigger a flare from a deep well of banished thoughts and feelings. The urge to sabotage all that is good and pure rises up from the long-cold ashes of the last flare that burned short but fiery. Sometimes, crouching in the dim light of that flare, I want to stab the past in the eye with a pencil. But it’s eyeless and hard to pin down. And then when I stumble into the dark place I’m always still surprised to find such easily corroded materials. Is it the new air that circulates around them, setting off a new round of oxidization? Even now, so many years later, when I’ve struggled so hard to reach the center and stay there, I still have to face these rusted thoughts. Sometimes things come along and heft their weight onto your chest, pressing down on your rib cage until you finally react. And hopefully somewhere within the cracked and and bruised ribs, the wheezing breaths, the bloody foam filling your throat, there is a tiny ghost bird fighting to make it to the surface, to fix its beady black eyes on you and flap its miniature wings in disapproval. It is this…this simple gesture from the wild, apart from the ugliness and flawed brokenheartedness of humanity, that will snap you to attention, will drive you to stand and clear the blood from your throat and speak again out from behind the dirty shroud of inner weakness we all share.

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